Townsend, Tennessee - Fly Fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina

Welcome to the Fishing Report.  It is partly cloudy and 70 degrees in Townsend this morning.  I left home very early again.  Traffic is light for a Saturday on a holiday weekend.  It is a beautiful morning though. 

Little River is flowing at 40 cubic feet per second (cfs).  Median flow for this date is 89 cfs.  The water temperature at 7:30 am was 72 degrees. Our river is low and warm.  I checked all the gauges that are operational in our region.  All streams were flowing at below normal.

Anglers are catching fish.  According to some I talked to yesterday, fishing is good.  Almost all of them are using dry flies in the choppy water.  The trout are hiding as best they can in the low water.  But they are hungry.  Warmer water drives their metabolism into high gear to a point.  The water is very cool in the higher elevations but those trout are hungry too.  They need food.  If you present your fly well, keep drag to a minimum and stay hidden, you will catch trout.

Also, most anglers were fishing on small streams that are shaded during the day.  Yesterday the sky was cloudy at times, especially late in the afternoon.  That trend should continue for a few days.  Cloudy skies are great for fly fishing in the Smokies.  Those are the days you wait for. 

We will surely get some rain.  After today, the weather predictors are standing by the assumption that the chance for rain is 50% or better through Tuesday.  The Weather Channel website still predicts 1” to 2” of rain in our area.  That rain would be a welcome arrival.  When that happens we could have some very good fishing unless we get too much rain, too fast.  A little color in the water, terrestrial food washing into the water and more depth and flow could bring on perfect conditions for the fly angler.  On the other hand, heavy rain may cause very turbid and high water.  You never know what to expect when it comes to fishing.    

Thinking about how light traffic was last night, a Friday on a holiday weekend, I decided to check out the accommodations.  At 7:25 am you can get a pretty good idea about the tourism business by driving around.  I cruised around the motels.  One large motel looked to be maybe 10% to 20% occupied.  You can tell because the rooms with open windows this early in the morning means the room is not rented.  Another large motel appeared to have about 50% or more occupancy.  The Best Western, formally the Econo Lodge, looked to be almost full.  Several smaller motels appeared to be about 50% occupied.

Then I got to the campgrounds.  They are packed.  Campers are out and doing their thing this weekend.  Steve, a friend of mine came by the store yesterday.  He asked if he could move his motor home from the campground to our parking lot for a few hours.  His campsite had trees blocking his satellite dish.  He wanted to watch the UT game.  Sure enough, I left work about 7:15 last night and there was Steve’s motor home in our parking lot.

I have not idea how many cabins are not rented.  More visitors may arrive today too.  But, if you want to visit Townsend this weekend you should have no problem finding a place to stay unless you are planning to camp.  Call and get a reservation, throw your gear in the truck and come on over, up or down.

I am meeting with some folks from the Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) this morning.  This well hidden facility takes in orphaned, injured or malnourished bears, keep them for a while and care for their problems, whatever they are.  When the bear is ready to be released, they have them transported somewhere and released.  That center is a few hundred feet from our house.  Don’t try to visit ABR.  People are not allowed there or near the bears.  The goal is to keep the bears away from people so they don’t become too friendly and associate humans with food.

Since I am chairman of the group to re-build Laurel Lake and maybe create some sort of Park on the 144 care tract of land, the ABR is a key stakeholder.  They are located on this County owned property.

I called the center yesterday, talked to the curator and set up this meeting.  Neither me or anyone else involved in this project want to do anything that can cause problems for ABR.  We need to keep people away from the center.  Just how far from the center people should avoid is something I don’t know.  That’s going to be the discussion today. 

Have a great day and Labor Day Weekend.  Thank you for being here with us.

Byron Begley
September 1, 2012  

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